Cutting Screen Time …

Cutting screen time is not easy but in five years I have seen an increase among my young students in the use of paper.

Digital devices are not allowed in class, they take great notes with pen and paper.

Several each semester “discover” a paper calendar and/or to-do list which they rave about as a great way to manage their time – digital devices are capable but also loaded with distractions.

Some even read books, the kind that are printed in addition to what’s available online.

And I’ve come to discover their reasoning:  spend less time with screens which they acknowledge as being deleterious to their health causing sleep problems and increased anxiety.

Reducing screen time doesn’t mean throwing away your phone, it simply means putting it in the best place to work for you.

Resilience Over Happiness …

Looking for happiness is a noble thought but not as productive as building resilience to help with overcoming adversity.

Happiness flows out of confronting tough breaks, tough times and sometimes even tough people.

Amit Sood, the Mayo Clinic physician who is helping NYU develop its anti-stress program for students is the founder of the Global Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing which educates about stress and how it affects the mind, body and overall health.

The goal is happiness, the means to get there is strengthening resilience.

Best Words for a Real Friend …

Tell them the one thing that makes them special to you and then give an example.

This type of feedback works – I ask my students to listen to presentations and then comment on them by saying what they liked and then giving a specific example.

Everyone smiles.

Don’t wait for a funeral to think about how you value a real friend – tell them and give evidence.

That’s a living compliment – try it today.

How Long to Keep Trying …

The person who wants it the most is the one who fails and keeps trying.

If there is a limit to the number of times you’ll pick yourself up off the floor and start all over again, then you’d like it but not have to have it.

Everything – happiness, friendship, money, joy – is not going to come down from a cloud and bestow itself on us – we have to endlessly try to get what we desire.

Today I’m going to get up faster and try again.

If you’re reading DayStarters for the first, time subscribe below (it’s free).

Why You Are Perfect …

When someone dislikes you, they have a problem – not you.

When their need to tell you, insult or bully you is that great, why even listen to them.

We’re fine the way we are.

When we want to get better, we alone will make that decision.

When someone doesn’t like us, they don’t like themselves first.

If you’re reading DayStarters for the first, time subscribe below (it’s free).

Things That May Not Happen …

If we’re going to worry about things that may not happen, we’re going to have an even larger list of things to fret over.

Since 99% of what we worry about never happens and the 1% when it does isn’t the way we feared, why add anxiety where it is not needed.

Live in the present.

Work on eliminating worries not adding additional fears on.

If you’re reading DayStarters for the first, time subscribe below (it’s free).

Don’t Worry About Mistakes …

Steve Jobs:  “Things get more refined as you make mistakes and do them.  So I’ve had a chance to make a lot of mistakes”.

Less time worrying about what could go wrong, more time trying to make things work right and if all else fails, experience is a positive outcome.

Forward DayStarters to friends and I’ll keep writing them

The Way Back …

The year we lost in Covid, turning within, being present virtually, losing our social skills, dealing with angst, anger and self-exiled boredom.

It’s getting better there is no normal to return to, thank goodness.  If we have seen the worst in the past, get ready for the best in the future.

How?  Rediscover the fine person you are, don’t become anyone else, don’t let anyone else push you off course – never go back, always go forward with confidence and grace.

Forward DayStarters to friends and I’ll keep writing them

Life is like a video game …

People play video games to practice killing avatars even if it is for fun.

But do we even spend that much time practicing being more human, more confident, happier?

Repetitive thinking helps train our brain.

If we take inventory of our time and find a little to spare for repetitive training, we can transform our attitude into one of positivity.

Even repeating one positive goal a day every day can change the way we think, feel and act.

What goal are you choosing today?

Forward DayStarters to friends and I’ll keep writing them

Keeping Christmas

My friend Tom Taylor pointed me toward the Poet Henry Van Dyke for some really inspirational thoughts (excerpted here) this holiday season:

  • “Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you”
  • “ ignore what the world owes you and to think what you owe the world”
  • “to see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy”
  • “to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a fee seeds of happiness”

And with that, much joy, peace and confidence ahead in the new year – see you after the holidays!